ARTIST: REO Speedwagon
TITLE: Ridin’ the Storm Out
YEAR RELEASED: 1973
CHART ACTION: #171
SINGLES: Ridin’ the Storm Out
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Son of a Poor Man
LINEUP: Mike Murphy, Gary Richrath, Neal Doughty, Gregg Philbin, Alan Gratzer. Joe Walsh slides in for a few tracks (!)
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Three albums, three singers and only a couple of tracks worth your ears – but there’s one classic here.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: REO Speedwagon’s vocalist instability reared its head again. Kevin Cronin was booted out (or left on his own) during the recording of this album. He contributed a couple of songs and laid down a couple of vocals before he was ousted, but the band had Mike Murphy come in and re-do those vocals and finish the record.
The result is weird. Murphy’s voice isn’t really suited to a lot of the material, and the material itself isn’t that strong – most tracks are a downgrade from their second album.
The title track though is one of the classics of rock ‘n’ roll, yet with Murphy’s voice it doesn’t reach the heights as it did with Cronin’s live version.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: “Creative differences”. I think Cronin and Gary Richrath butted heads.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, the original Cronin vocal for the title track.
GRADE: C+: Bland, but big upgrade due to the title track. Exiled a lot of it, though.